Pakistan Raids Lashkar e Toiba Camp

Just breaking, Pakistan has raided a Lashkar e Toiba camp, who are believed by most world intelligence agencies to be responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks. This comes just in the wake of Secretary of State Rice stating unequivocably on Wolf Blitzer’s program that there was “No doubt that the attacks were planned in Pakistan.”

Story from Reuters:

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani security forces on Sunday raided a camp used by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), two sources said, in a strike against the militant group blamed by India for last month’s deadly attacks on Mumbai.

Local man Nisar Ali told Reuters the operation began in the afternoon in Shawai on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistani side of disputed Kashmir region.

“I don’t know details as the entire area was sealed off, but I heard two loud blasts in the evening after a military helicopter landed there,” Ali said.

An official with the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, which is linked to LeT, said security forces had taken over the camp.

India has demanded Pakistan take swift action over what it says is the latest anti-India militant attack emanating from Pakistani soil. No comment on the raid was immediately available from Indian officials

Update: According to Syed at Asia Times other Let and JuD offices have been raided. A word of warn about Syed: he will put AQ / Taliban spin and agitprop out, so some of this is factual, some not. [e.g. when he implies that we might drive LeT into AQ arms, we know they are already there and have been allied since at least Sept. 2007.]

UPDATE:  Little Green Footballs has discussion.

Is Pakistan at Verge of War, or Verge of Coup?

There’s a lot of speculation out regarding the tense situation over the Mumbai terror attacks, and that’s expected to increase now that the captured terrorist has been tracked back to a village in Pakistan. Senators McCain and Lieberman are in Islamabad now, after a stopover in India.

Senator McCain has warned Pakistan pretty clearly that India might start bombing LeT camps if Pakistan did nothing, and further that we would try to calm India, but that there wouldn’t be much we would do. To India this is their 9/11 and it would be hypocritical of us if we were say that India couldn’t retaliate.

In the meantime rumors of a military coup in response to the escalation of tension between India and Pakistan are making the rounds, probably as outcome of the meeting General Kayani, Chief of Army staff, held with Prime Minister Gilani yesterday. I would give that one 24 hour rule, since those rumors come out anytime the military visits civil government heads, usually politically motivated in nature. It’s doubtful to me at this point that General Kayani would pull a coup, but he is in solidarity with the Civilian government by saying “show us the evidence.” That makes sense because of the rumors that ISI or former ISI people are involved, those rumors have been floated mostly by the hardliners in India’s intel agency, RAW, and speculative journalists.

At most I would posit that Hamid Gul’s faction of deposed ISI might have been involved. They are the ones with Karachi ties, and used to coordinating across urban and rural terror groups. Some of Gul’s old confidant’s are also on the list that the US is proffering as terrorists to the UN.

The terror groups are not going to let up, they are continuing the new Al Qaeda doctrine of destabilization to create wildernesses, (ungoverned areas where AQ and affiliates can operate; it’s only in areas where zero law exists that people will accept AQ’s extreme brand of Shariah.) Today a bomb was found and defused in a nursing home in India, and in Peshawar the death toll from the bazaar bomb blast has climbed to 34.

I wrote about this possibility a few months back – the war in Afghanistan has become much less popular among young recruits simply because they know they will be fighting Afghanistan Army and police there, or other muslims. The Kashmir is a more popular cause within Pakistan, so it’s not a surprise that AQ has shifted focus to that because they have decreased greatly in popularity since starting the civil war in the Frontiers of Pakistan.

There’s also one other player in this to pay attention to: China also holds a piece of the Kashmir, and while they are calling for calm, they are holding joint war games with India right now.

13 Taliban were killed by Pakistan army forces in Swat, and the Taliban continues their targetted assassinations of government, tribal, and ANP party members there. The war in the frontiers continue, but at times it doesn’t appear that the civilian gov’t realizes how serious it is. The clock is ticking on them now, if they don’t get the Taliban and AQ leadership soon, it is they who will be gotten. More on this at The Long War Journal. Roggio is speculating that ISI itself, and not just the renegade elements, migh be directly involved.

What’s on the mind of the average Pakistani? The Chief Justice Dogar case, where a SC judge’s daughter was given higher marks in school by decree. In Pakistan, they love their constitutional crisis’ as this is being looked at by the National Assembly.

If Pakistan does not do anything here, at some point it will become necessary for others to step in. I could see an India/China/US intervention if the government doesn’t move soon since they are firmly on the path to failed state and Somalihood now.